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Slacker No More

David McCoy, 16

devozine Game Time TS 78615256I knew I wasn’t the most efficient student, but I didn’t think I was slacking until I saw the F on my Latin test. So I began to examine how I was using my time during the day. I thought I was good at keeping a daily to-do list and setting goals for fitness, reading, and work. But when it was time for homework and I found myself pulling out a gaming controller or casually browsing the Internet, I knew something wasn’t right. Trumping my desire to get things done and done well was a greater desire to put things off and to relax. Proverbs 13:4 (CEB) fit my situation:

       The lazy have strong desires but receive nothing;
       the appetite of the diligent is satisfied.

 

For a while, I tried to ignore the consequences of my procrastination. Even though I was staying up late to finish homework and feeling stressed by a growing list of chores, I kept telling myself that I didn’t really have much to do, that the work was easy, and that I had plenty of time. But that was a lie. Rationalizing my behavior was actually keeping me from changing my habits. In fact, I was digging a deeper and deeper hole for myself.

devozine Questions from God TS 78617331One day I told my algebra teacher that I had, for once, completely finished the homework assignment. Instead of praising me, she remarked frankly, “That’s what is expected of you, David.” Her words haunted me as I began to explore other areas of my life in which I met only the bare-minimum requirements—or less. In fitness, I had ridiculously high expectations that I couldn’t possibly fulfill. I hadn’t followed up on my ambitious plan to read the Bible in six months. I praised myself for having lofty aspirations, but I wasn’t doing what I’d committed to do. Forgetting to invite God into my daily doings was part of the problem; without a more constant connection with God, my fruitfulness was sparse.

How could I fix a slacker like myself? Feeling stuck at the bottom of a trench of papers and deadlines, I couldn’t see where to begin. God came first. I asked God to enter the process of change and to help me deal with the problem. I needed to finish what I already had on my plate in order to get out of the hole my laziness had created. I took a few days to get caught up with homework, Bible-reading, exercising, cleaning. Then, I prayed again, asking God for help in redesigning the methods by which I finished my work. I set new realistic goals, made benchmarks for myself, and kept a calendar. Finally, I had some idea of what I needed to do and when I needed to do it.

devozine Journaling TS 78395952Even though I’m changing my ways, I still feel the consequences of having been a slacker. Some teachers still think of me as a procrastinator, so I have to continue to prove myself. I haven’t spent a lot of time with my friends; they won’t see much of me until my schedule allows more free time. I’m doing extra work and I miss the down time I used to have, but I’ve ditched the old slacker attitude. With God’s help, I know I can keep my life balanced and on track.

 

DIG DEEPER

Create a balance between fun and focus by making a choice for change.

  • Invite God to help you stop slacking.
  • Keep in mind Matthew 6:33a (CEB): “Desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness.”
  • Ask a friend to keep you accountable for getting things done.
  • Use tools like an online to-do tracker (cheddar.com or strikeapp.com) that keeps you motivated and allows others to see your progress.

See where God leads you during the coming weeks!

David McCoy, 16 , of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is a reading and writing enthusiast, who occasionally finds himself in front of a piano or a skillet. Retro video games and rock climbing fill his time if he isn’t filling his whiteboard with to-do lists.

—from devozine (May/June 2013). Copyright © 2013 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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